Helena Iren Michaelsen - Angel

November 30, 2005

To start off, what led you to become a vocalist and seek out bands to sing for?

Well it all started when I was a little girl. I have been singing as long as I can remember. It was my way of expressing my emotions instead of talking. I joined in choirs and theaters where I got solo singing parts very fast. I was then very shy and I was shivering like a leaf when I had to sing something alone. :-) The music teachers in school picked my voice out of the class and started to perform songs with me separately from school in different places, on holy days, and special occasions. Then when I was 18, I won a talent competition with my own composed song. There were two of the members of Trail Of Tears there and they asked me afterwards to be the new singer of their band and I was very enthusiastic. I came with them to the rehearsal and felt at once at home in the music. We recorded a demo and got several offers. We chose one and from then on everything went very fast with tours and recording CDs, but I never had my freedom to express all emotions and creativity. I wanted to stop. After Trail Of Tears, I did a vocal job for Transmission Records for a band called Black Horizon. After a short while in Sahara Dust (Epica) I noticed that I also didn't get my freedom so I chose to not continue. I'd rather start my own band so I could have my freedom and also use my own songs. So that's why I now have Imperia and Angel.

What area of the world do you hail from and can you tell us a bit about that?

I'm from Norway from a place called Vennesla which is more in the forest. It's a little village with not many people.

Where do you live now and why?

In The Netherlands. I came here because the music scene was better here for me to start bands and it easier to get gigs as well.

You've been the vocalist for bands like Imperia and Trail Of Tears. What led you to start Angel?

Not getting my freedom.

Did you feel confined to the metal genre and felt like it was time to spread your wings a bit?

Ha ha. That is a nice sentence for the answer. :-)

The CD packs a lot of different emotions and experiences. Were these songs written about personal experiences and is this your musical diary?

Yes, they are all from personal experiences. My diary and unspoken emotions on a CD.

What led you to bring in musicians from your old band Imperia to put this project together?

Because I like to work with them so much and we have a lot of fun. I trust them.

Some of the songs on here you wrote at the age of 12. What led you to keep these songs and use them for this album?

At that time I didn't really know that it would be on a CD in the future but in my head, I have a lot of self-made songs still to come on the next CD.

How long did it take to get the record recorded and mixed and why did you choose Oliver Philipps and Christian Moos to help out in the studio?

I don't know the exact time because there became some problems with the computer in between and we needed some days here and there to stop for a while. But why them was because Jan had worked with them several times and I trusted his words that it was a good choice and I'm now glad about the job they did.

Tell us a bit about the record and what led to putting it together.

My feelings. I didn't use my mind at all for what song had to come after another. Only done by feelings.

Can you tell us about the inspirations behind some of the songs?

The song "Don't Want To Run" is a about suicide because you're tired of running from your past. "Mother" I wrote to my own mother who was murdered. Little girl scared to lose the child in you. With other words, scared that you're soul is dying.

You explore different styles of music and vocals on here. How did you go about determining which style would fit which song?

What the song is about. Just like a movie, the picture has to fit to the emotion in the music for the best way of giving an emotion or telling something.

How has the response been to the record and do you have people complain that it doesn't sound like Imperia or it doesn't sound like Trail Of Tears? I know people always complain about that sort of thing but then Angel wouldn't be Angel would it?

There are always people who want to compare so that has happened but they just haven't understood that it's two totally different bands for me with different kinds of music but the same members. For the rest, I'm very glad about the feedback. It's been very good and it seems the emotion has been understood. That's the most important for me.

I read in an interview where you stated that as a young girl your mom wouldn't let you have long hair and that struck a chord in me. My mom always cut mine too and I hated it. I always felt like I looked like a boy. It's kind of refreshing to know that someone else went through that.

Thank you for being this open. I'm sorry to hear that.

Are we going to see future chapters of this diary?

Yes, I have a lot more songs but how many chapters, I don't know.

Any touring plans in the future?

We are invited to a couple of tours so it will be touring. I look forward to that.

Any other thoughts or comments?

It's an honor for me to do this interview and I hope to come to play in your neighborhood. Thank you for your support. Hugs, Helena.

Helena Michaelsen